LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf central Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid alleges that as high as 36 per cent to 61 per cent voters have been increased in the lists in various union councils of by-election constituency PP-167, which is unjustified, unusual and against the rules and regulations.

The PTI president has produced the documentary evidence to the Provincial Election Commission with regard to the errors and omissions and is now again placing the detailed evidence of, what she says, unrealistic changes to voter lists i.e. copy of voter list, copy of election scheme and census report.

In a summary comparison submitted to the provincial election commission, the PTI president stated that in UC-235 there were 16,358 votes in 2018 and 26,395 votes in 2020 -- an increase of 10,037 (61 per cent). Similarly, in UC-234, the votes increased from 8,043 to 11,128 recording a difference of 3,085 (38 per cent). While in UC-239, 8,113 (36 per cent) votes were increased from 22,404 votes recorded in 2018.

Similarly, eight to 28 per cent votes had been increased in some union councils in PP-167.

The documentary evidence has been provided to the election commission following its reply to her early complaints as well as firing at the PTI’s PP-167 election office, which resulted in injury to the candidate’s son.

In a reply, the provincial election commissioner said the voter lists were frozen on May 25 for the by-election in 20 constituencies and general secretary Hammad Azhar too mentioned about errors and omissions in the lists but no documentary evidence was attached for any action by the office.

The commissioner also stated that it was incorrect that there were entries of bogus votes and PTI votes were targeted. It also stated that it took action on the incident of attack on PTI office on June 19 and the IGP was immediately directed to take extraordinary security measures in all 20 by-election constituencies.

“The IGP informed that 10 persons from PML-N and 11 from PTI were included in the investigation. The suspects were produced in court on June 21 and the court through an order discharged all of them,” the commission stated in its reply.

In a rejoinder addressed to the provincial election commissioner, Dr Rashid stated that as per law only permanent or temporary resident of the area mentioned in the CNIC could be voter of the particular area and the evidence, separately provided to him, was sufficient to prove the unrealistic omissions and errors of the voter list.

She stated that if anyone got his vote transferred, he or she needed to furnish reasonable justification and application and the record should already be available with the commissioner.

Therefore, she demanded that it was necessary for fair elections that the lists might be revised and checked in accordance with law.

In her letter, Dr Rashid also stated that police did not take any action despite commission’s instructions to the IGP and rather submitted a fake and frivolous report to the commission to avoid directions to be complied with in letter and spirit.

“The report submitted to the commission by police was altogether different from the one submitted before the court and this fact clearly illustrates that police have concealed the material facts from the commission,” she stated, also enclosing the copy of the report submitted before the court.

Referring to the commission’s reply that police arrested 21 persons, she stated that this statement was fake and frivolous because police said the persons belonged to the PTI. She also complained that police on June 30 unlawfully raided at the election office of the PTI candidate for PP-168 and took away candidate’s coordinator Mehar Sharafat Ali. Later, Ali ran from pillar to post to report the incident but police refused to receive his application.

“In view of these facts, the commission is requested to go through the record available and examine the evidence produced by me and take immediate action for the correction of voter lists and implement the SMS process of 20 constituencies for fair elections and rule of democracy,” Dr Rashid requested.

Dr Rashid told Dawn that the commission was not even giving the dates when the massive number of votes was increased. “Abnormal number of votes has been increased in the four constituencies won by the PTI in 2018,” she said and added that she would also be providing documentary evidence to the commission in a day or two.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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